Accidents happen. Sometimes they happen despite your best efforts to follow all the rules of the road and drive defensively. As distracted driving presents an ever growing problem on our roads, more and more people are finding themselves involves in car accidents that weren’t their fault – and they are suffering substantial property loss and expensive medical expenses as a result.
While Arkansas is considered an “add-on state” for no-fault car insurance, the insurance laws in the state are fault-based. In other words, drivers are required under Arkansas law to carry liability coverage but can add no-fault coverage. This means that if the other driver was at-fault then they will be held financially responsible for any injuries and property damage that occur as a result of the accident. It is the insurer of the driver who was at-fault that assumes the bulk of the financial responsibility.
Someone hit your car, whose insurance do you call?
When you are in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, you should notify both your own insurance company and the other driver’s insurer. While it is the responsibility of the at-fault driver to notify their insurance company, people don’t always do what they are supposed to do. Often, people hesitate to report an accident to their insurer, particularly when they are at-fault, because they don’t want it to affect their coverage. Don’t rely on the other person; make the call yourself.
Even if you are not at-fault, you should call your own insurance company as soon as possible. By doing so, you initiate the claim process, allowing them to begin their investigation. This also allows you to review any benefits that your own insurance policy may entitle you to, such as no fault medical benefits.
You can also opt to file a claim directly against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but you still need to notify your own insurance company. If you are not certain what you should do, you can talk to an attorney to review your options which may even include filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, their insurance company, or any other parties that may be liable.
What to do after a car accident that wasn’t your fault
Of course, the first thing you want to do after any accident is make sure no one is hurt. Second, call the police.
Your insurance company may have an app that guides you through what information to collect. You may need to gather specific information including:
- The other driver’s name, address, and phone number
- Names and contact information of any passengers in the other vehicle
- Insurance company and policy information of the other driver
- Statements from witnesses and their contact information
- If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, including several that are wide shots of the area from several different angles (try to include all vehicles that were involved). Most mobile phones and smartphones have cameras and can be used for this purpose.
Other Common Questions
Does your insurance go up if you are in a car accident that is not your fault?
Some insurers will increase rates even if you were not at fault. Others will not increase rates for the first, or even second not at-fault accident, but may increase rates when multiple accidents occur, particularly within a short time. Not at-fault claims in Arkansas are filed against the insurer of the driver who was responsible for the accident. In those cases, many insurance companies will not increase the rates of the driver who was not at fault. You should check your policy or talk to your insurance agent, though, to be certain.
How long does a not at-fault accident stay on your record?
The state of Arkansas operates on a point system where drivers receive demerit points for violations. These points remain on the driver’s record for three years. This means if you received a moving violation of any type because of the accident, you could receive anywhere from 3 to 14 points on your record. Reckless driving violations garner 8 points.
If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault and suffered injuries or property damage, you need an experienced, knowledgeable attorney who will fight to protect your rights. You need Alan LeVar on your side. Mr. LeVar has been helping clients just like you for more than 20 years. If you’ve been in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, don’t wait to see what happens. Contact the Law Offices of Alan LeVar today and get the compensation that you deserve so you can get back to your life.